Mark Strickson’s second Companion Chronicle allows him to derive some benefit from his long sojourn Down Under, as he gives Tegan Jovanka a much more Australian accent than Janet Fielding ever did in this effective story from Mark Morris. From time to time Strickson captures Davison’s particular inflections on certain words, and coupled with Morris’ spot-on descriptions of the Fifth Doctor’s little habits, this has a ring of authenticity.
For once the cliffhanger plays off the character of the companion, rather than simply being a convenient point in the plot to insert some excitement – Turlough’s admitted cowardice and fear means he’s bound to view the situation in which he finds himself in the worst possible light… so its resolution works well.
Listeners in 2011 may smile wryly when Turlough dons a Stetson hat when he leaves the TARDIS to go exploring (at least he doesn’t say that Stetsons are cool!), and wonder if it’s the same one the Doctor sports in The Impossible Astronaut (or maybe that’s just me.)
When this was released, a reunion of Davison, Sarah Sutton, Fielding and Strickson such as we’ve heard recently would have seemed impossible, and this very definitely went some way to filling in the gaps in the Big Finish catalogue.
Verdict: Slight but enjoyable. 7/10
Available as part of the Companion Chronicles: The Specials Box Set from Big Finish
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